We are an all-female household, dog included. J. and I are together, as you might have realized, and poor Jelly only has some of her parts left but she definitely crouches to pee. So you might be a bit surprised to find me writing about The Penis. You might expect I wouldn’t even know what one is. I may not know much, but psychologists have been talking about phallic objects for years, so I know something. We have but one in our house that we all play with. (Before you shut down your computer in horror, recall that I am not a TMI kind of gal.)
The Penis is a dog toy, which we so named because of its general shape. We received this toy, which looks like a thin, elongated ball-less tennis ball, many years ago from a friend. It is 8 inches long and almost 5 inches around. (Are you jealous?) The Penis has become one of Jelly’s favourite toys, probably because we get so excited when she picks it up. (No, not that kind of excited. Get your mind out of the gutter.)
I don’t think much about the fact that we call the toy The Penis (except perhaps when unsuspecting dinner guests hear us doing so), but yesterday I did. You see, Jelly chose to pick up The Penis in the washroom, and was waving it around to engage me, as she often does when she’s bored. In an effort to encourage her, I said, quite loudly, “Go, Jelly! Get The Penis! Get The Penis!” This conversation with my dog was not in any way unusual except that, because it was a lovely day, the washroom window was open. This window faces our neighbour’s yard, where said neighbour often sits for hours each day during the summer.
I should tell you that Mr. Neighbour is one of the few original owners of the 1950s homes on our street. We sensed he wasn’t so pleased 12 years ago when The Lesbians moved in next door. In fact, one day a few years after our arrival, Mr. Neighbour began pontificating about his disapproval of gay marriage, at which point I asked: “With all due respect, Mr. Neighbour, you do realize that J. is not my sister?” (This was my very subtle way of telling him that J. and I weren’t just “special friends”.) Funny, Mr. Neighbour hasn’t raise the whole gay marriage thing again.
You’ll understand, then, why I wondered, in a panic, whether Mr. Neighbour overheard my conversation with Jelly about The Penis. And I wondered, if he had heard, what he must have been thinking. I imagined an internal monologue something like this: “Those darn lesbians. What goes on in that household? If they would just stop shoving it in people’s faces already….”
But then I remembered, we’ve lived here quite a long time now, and for just as long we’ve wondered about Mr. Neighbour’s hearing. And so I can only hope he could not make out my words.